United Airlines Hikes Fares and 3 Morning Hot Stocks to Follow

AT&T (NYSE:T): Current Price $33.15

Cheap valuations for European wireless companies, inefficient and outdated pricing, slow 4G rollouts and the possibility of linking up European countries with common wireless plans — all these and more provide a window of opportunity to AT&T (NYSE:T), said to be scouting for suitable acquisition candidates on the continent. The strategy may make sense considering AT&T’s plan to acquire T-Mobile USA was denied by regulators and the tougher competition likely at home once Softbank Corp closes its acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corp (NYSE:S). Names being tossed up include Royal KPN NV, the biggest telecom company in the Netherlands, and Everything Everywhere, a wireless carrier in the U.K.

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United Airlines (NYSE:UAL): Current Price $25.91

United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) is said to have raised fares for the second time this year, with most domestic routes seeing a hike of $2 to $5 each way. Flights longer than 2,000 miles have been raised by $10. The airline’s move follows an earlier attempt this month to raise fares that had to be aborted after other airlines refused to follow suit. This time around carrier JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) responded by raising fares by $2 to $5 round-trip. However, it is not known as of now whether other airlines would match these increases.

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Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL): Current Price $38.07

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) announced that its Board of Directors had authorised the repurchase of the company’s common stock up to $1 billion, as well as declared a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share. Only $165 million remained from a September 2007 authorisation for the purchase of stock up to $1 billion. This balance amount has now been renewed to $1 billion.”Our ongoing share repurchase program demonstrates our continued confidence in the earnings power of our global brands,” said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO. “We remain committed to increasing shareholder returns through a combination of dividend distributions and opportunistic share repurchases,” he added.

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Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD): Current Price $88.99

Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) is unwilling to sell a state-of-the-art beer bottling plant owned by Grupo Modello SAB in return for obtaining US regulatory approval for its $20.1 billion acquisition of the Mexican brewer. According to sources, if push comes to shove, and the authorities insist on the sale of the $600 million bottling plant, Anheuser-Busch InBev could resort to litigation, or call off the transaction. As of now, however, the company’s discussions with regulators are focused on setting up a suitable long-term supply and pricing agreement covering the import of Modelo’s brands the US. The Piedras Negras bottling plant, said to be the most modern in the world, is located near the border with Texas and has a capacity of 10 million hectoliters per annum.

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